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New Strategic Farm prepares to open its doors

The launch of the first AHDB Strategic Farm to take place this autumn. 

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AHDB and the host farmer, Brian Barker, will reveal initial plans for a series of trials and demonstrations at the new Strategic Farm East launch, located near Stowmarket, Suffolk.

 

Information on the wider ambition of the Strategic Farm programme will also be revealed – including plans to add two more arable farms to the network.


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Emily Smith, AHDB Knowledge Transfer Manager, said: “We’ll test and demonstrate innovative practices on a field- and commercial-farm scale at our Strategic Farms.

 

“In particular, we’ll focus on what to measure, how to measure it and what the measurements reveal. For every trial, we’ll develop resources to help growers question their own business management decisions and assess impacts on their own farms.”

 

See also: How £20 could improve your arable business

About AHDB Strategic Farms

AHDB Strategic Farms use farmer-to-farmer learning to accelerate the uptake of knowledge and provide a platform for farmers to explore the potential for best practice to have an impact on their business. Part of its Farm Excellence Platform, AHDB has around 30 Strategic Farms to inspire industry to improve performance and succeed through knowledge exchange.

Since the announcement of the Strategic Farm in June, the local steering group has considered industry needs, along with potential on-farm innovations arising from research and knowledge gaps identified during Monitor Farm meetings. This information has been used to determine several initial questions which will be considered by the Strategic Farm.

Since the announcement of the Strategic Farm in June, the local steering group has considered industry needs, along with potential on-farm innovations arising from research and knowledge gaps identified during Monitor Farm meetings. This information has been used to determine several initial questions which will be considered by the Strategic Farm.

Strategic Farm East: initial questions

  • How is soil quality affected by rotations?
  • How can nutrient management be manipulated to boost early crop biomass?
  • How can varietal resistance be deployed best?
  • How do late-season nutrition applications affect protein and seed quality?
  • How can flowering strips be used to boost beneficial insects?

 

The event will look at why these questions were selected and provide details of the practical and research-inspired approaches the farm will take to try to answer them.

 

In addition to outlining the first trial protocols, baseline information on the status of each of the fields in the trial will be revealed. Attendees will learn how to gather baseline data and its importance in measuring the impact of on-farm trials.

Booking information

The free launch, which takes place on 1 November 2017 (10:00 to 14:15) at Wyverstone Village Hall, Wyverstone, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 4SH, includes lunch and an opportunity to tour the first trials.

 

People interested in attending should book via cereals.ahdb.org.uk/strategicfarm

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